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Love's Liberty
by Lesley-Anne McLeod
ISBN 978-1-60174-006-9 ....... © 2007 ....... Purchase from Amazon.com

Reviews

From MyShelf.com:
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
King James Version Bible, 1 Corinthians
Julia Clemence has known ever since she was a child that she loved Simon Mancroft-Martley. The two of them had grown up with their properties bordering. Although Simon was older than she, they had a vast amount in common. Her heart broke the day that Simon announced that he had purchased a commission to the war. With a chaste, brotherly kiss he bid her farewell. Not a day went by that he didn't fill her thoughts; she made the journey each day to St. Stephen's to say a prayer for his safe return. Then after four years and nine months the news her heart had hoped to hear came, Simon was coming home. But his arrival was bittersweet for he had been wounded in battle. ....
Lesley-Anne McLeod has penned a magnificent Regency Romance. This short story touched my heart and soul. The characters are so well developed you can almost feel their pain as they struggle to find one another. This Regency is a true testimony to the power of love. Very highly recommended.
--Suzie Housley  

    

From The Romance Studio:
I absolutely loved this story; the only fault I could possibly voice is that it is too short! Ms. Lesley-Anne McLeod's writing style is impeccable; I can highly recommend this story as a good short read when you only have a few minutes. You will not be disappointed, I am sure.
Overall rating: Five Hearts!
--Brenda Talley

 

From Romance at Heart:
Lesley-Anne McLeod brings to us a poignant tale of love and the effects of war in the Regency period of England. In a time when men were supposed to be dashing providers, one crippled by war, even though a hero could not be expected to be anything but a burden on family, and pitied by friends. This is the fate facing Simon Mancroft-Martley, and he knows very well the woman he loves must feel the same. He is surprised by her determination, her apparent ignorance of convention, her insistence of love for him, and her desire to marry regardless of his injury and deplorable condition. He does not understand that for Julia Clemence, there can be no other. If Julia were forced to marry another, she would be condemned to a loveless marriage. It would be one that could ultimately destroy the woman she is, and would take away the woman she could and should become.
In Love's Liberty, Lesley-Anne gives light to a story of love, loss, and of a new beginning when Simon discovers in Julia that love forgives all, and it overlooks the conventions of society to survive. Coming soon from Uncial Press, Love's Liberty is a wonderful quick read you are sure to enjoy.
--Rose

From Coffeetime Romance:
Julia Clemence has visited the same little church for almost five years. She has been waiting for the man she loves to come home from the war. She was only sixteen when he left, and she cannot wait to show him the woman she has become.
Simon Mancroft-Martley left for war to give Julia time to grow and find herself. He had been attracted to her when he was only seventeen, and she had been too young. However, war had left him disillusioned and disabled.
When Julie finds Simon in the church newly returned from the war, all of her love spills over for him to see. He does not want to tie her to less of a man and fights his attraction. With the help of their families he avoids being with her from that point on.
Ms. McLeod has woven a possible tragic story into a sweet romance. The words flowed across the page and this reader could not put it down. It was over way too soon.
-- Mary

EXCERPT

He meant it, Julia thought in an agony of despair, as she ran from St. Stephens and from Simon, past verdant hedgerows and fields, unseeing to her home. He meant it when he said he would not acknowledge his love for her, would not court her or marry her. All for her own good.

She ran, though she had to press one slim hand to a stitch in her side, ran until she stood before her parents on the stone flagged terrace on the south side of Edenton Park.

"Simon is returned," she gasped out. "I met him quite by surprise in the church. He...I...he loves me."

Lady Edenton laid aside her book and the baron his newspaper with precision and without haste.

"How can you know this?" her mother asked her calm face very still.

"He did not speak of it, but he could not conceal it; I think he could conceal nothing from me. He kissed me. He has lost an arm." She saw by the quick glance her parents exchanged that they had had knowledge that she had not. "You knew. You knew and did not tell me. How was I to discover it? Did you know that he would arrive this week? Was that to be kept from me as well? What other decisions have been made for me?"

"You are intemperate, Julia. Calm yourself." Her father was ever pacific and collected and disliked thoughtless impetuosity.

"I shall not! He says he will not burden -- burden -- me with a cripple. As if Simon Mancroft- Martley could ever be a burden to me. I love him, I love him." She dropped suddenly into a chair, and covered her face with her slender hands.

Her father rose and departed the terrace, his usually serene countenance disturbed, his dislike of the emotional furor apparent.

"My dear, you must not upset yourself so," her mother said. "Simon has to rest and recover himself. It will be a drastic adjustment for him. Taking up his old life after five years away would be challenge enough, but lacking an arm, well..."

"I cannot bring myself to worry about his arm. He is still Simon; the lost arm does not alter who he is."

"He is crippled, my love."

"He can still think, speak, move."

"He is crippled. We would not have you attached to less than a whole man. You are precious to us and deserving of the very best that life can offer."

"Simon is the best -- even with but one arm."

"Julia, even disregarding those larger issues which may arise from Simon's new disability, you must consider that his injury may make him physically repulsive."

"He looked wonderful to me."

Her mother coloured faintly and she said with discomfort, "His injury, his scars would be horrifying for a gently bred young lady such as yourself."

"I--do not--care about his scars," Julia said, through clenched teeth. "I would love him if he were green with yellow spots and had no arms at all."

"Julia!" Her mother rose in indignation. "That is enough, more than enough; it is beyond the pale of acceptability. You will let Simon recover from his injuries, you will neither pursue nor pester him with your affection. We have obviously given you a great deal more independence than has been good for you. You must abandon your extravagant notions of freedom. And you will abandon your desire to wed Simon, for your father and I have discussed the matter, and you shall not marry him. Be so goo